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Major Gifts Officer at Wikipedia

Wikimedia Foundation Jobs

Job Summary

The Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a Major Gifts Officer for our Endowment team. This role is a critical part of the Wikimedia Foundation’s fundraising team, focused on raising current and planned gifts for the Wikimedia Endowment. 

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia – one of the most popular websites in the world. In 2016, we launched the Wikimedia Endowment in order to support Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in perpetuity. To date, we have grown the Endowment to over $90 million through a mix of individual, corporate, and planned gifts. 

The Major Gifts Officer will report to and work closely with the Director of Endowment to develop and execute Endowment fundraising strategies. You will manage a dynamic portfolio of major gift prospects, serving as one of the front-line fundraisers for the Endowment team. Succeeding in this environment requires comfort with both highly personalized cultivation strategies for individual donors in your portfolio as well as email outreach to a broad array of donors at scale. 

The Major Gifts Officer will travel occasionally for donor meetings and events. You can work remotely from any location within convenient travel to major metropolitan areas of the United States, or may work from the Wikimedia Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco or our Washington, DC office. (Note that the Wikimedia Foundation’s offices are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel and in-office work will resume when it is safe to do so.)

You are responsible for:

  • Serving as a front-line fundraiser for a team currently tasked with raising $5M per year in direct donations to the Endowment
  • Fostering strong, life-long relationships with a diverse portfolio of individual donors 
  • Soliciting and securing major and planned gifts, both independently and in collaboration with colleagues on the Major Gifts & Foundations and Endowment teams
  • Assisting the Endowment Director in developing the strategy and content for scaled online fundraising campaigns
  • Developing intimate, high-end donor cultivation events, including building invitation lists, assisting with program content, and executing post-event cultivation strategies, in conjunction with the Events Manager.
  • Creating written materials to support fundraising, including meeting/event briefings, activity reports, solicitation letters, proposals, and stewardship reports
  • Managing a variety of Endowment communications, including project management, writing, and editing of these pieces, in collaboration with other staff across the Foundation
  • Assisting with gift processing, acknowledgements, donor recognition, and other gift administration tasks as needed
  • Tracking your contact with donors in our donor database

Skills and Experience:

  • 4+ years of successful fundraising experience including at least 3 years of direct major gifts experience
  • A record of personal success in raising money from individual major donors through current and planned gifts in the 5 to 6-figure range
  • Broad-based knowledge of various development activities, including: direct solicitations, event planning and management, and planned giving
  • Excellent relationship management skills and the ability to work with a diverse group of donors and team members across geographies
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrably strong writing skills
  • Ability to work with a high degree of autonomy and accountability
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of donor information and a finely-tuned sense of discretion
  • Ability to travel occasionally to meet with donors in person and attend Foundation gatherings
  • Comfort and experience in a technology-driven environment
  • A college degree

Qualities that are important to us:

  • A mission-focused professional with an understanding of, belief in, and commitment to the open source movement, net neutrality, the benefits of the free exchange of information; a passion for communicating how these principles are important in the development of civil societies; and an ability to communicate that passion
  • We are an international organization serving an internationally distributed audience. A strong international perspective with personal experience in cross-cultural communication is highly valued
  • Articulate and persuasive communicator, both in speaking and writing
  • Active listening and strategizing; comfortable receiving input from many sources, and able to act on information to develop increased support
  • Detail-oriented, able to maintain systems, track progress, and follow-up in a timely fashion
  • Sharing a culture of constructive criticism and respect
  • Self-motivated professional who takes initiative and has the ability to work independently
  • Gravitas and professionalism appropriate for interacting with high level donors, board members, and C-level staff

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

  • Experience working in an organization with a distributed workforce
  • Experience with endowment campaigns
  • Experience marketing and/or securing planned gifts
  • Fluency in languages other than English

The Wikimedia Foundation is... 

...the nonprofit organization that hosts and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

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